Yes, before you derisively ask: Dancing With the Stars is still on. Whether or not it’s still considered “a thing” probably depends on how much you enjoy the celebrity dance-show competition.
But going into Season 30, DWTS producers have had more difficulty getting truly recognizable names to participate. The lineup announced Wednesday (Sept. 8) on Good Morning America surely demonstrates that. But in the past, we’ve liked to point out when athletes are entering the ballroom. As in past years, we’ll see a recently retired professional athlete in addition to an Olympian. A pro wrestler star will also be part of the cast.
Ten-year NBA veteran Iman Shumpert will be one of the 15 contestants for Season 30. Shumpert most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets, appearing in only two games. Participating in Dancing With the Stars indicates that he doesn’t expect to play the 2021-22 NBA season.
— Iman. (@imanshumpert) September 8, 2021
During his career, Shumpert also played for the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets. He averaged 7.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. His best season was the 2014-15 campaign, during which he averaged 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while shooting 35 percent from three-point range for the Knicks.
Olympic gymnast Sunisa Lee is another of the contestants. Lee won three medals at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, including a gold in the all-around competition. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that gymnasts and figure skaters have performed well in the competition, considering the similarities to ballroom dancing. Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Meryl Davis, Laurie Fernandez, and Adam Rippon each previously won the Mirrorball Trophy.
Grabbed a stool for Suni 🕺🏾💫 pic.twitter.com/b2DEY9gvm1
— Matt James (@mattjames919) September 8, 2021
Other athletes who won the competition include Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, auto racer Helio Castroneves, and NFL stars Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, Donald Driver, and Rashad Jennings.
WWE star The Miz (Mike Mizanin) will also join the competition. Of course, being a professional wrestler has provided plenty of experience with performing, but Mizanin also has reality TV experience from MTV’s The Real World and several seasons of Road Rules.
I’m learning the Paso Doble, Argentine Tango, Waltz, and FoxTrot are very different moves than a Skull Crushing Finale or Figure Four Leg Lock. Honored and excited to be apart of the Season 30 cast of @DancingABC now let’s get to work. #DWTS. pic.twitter.com/0vgEOMy4DM
— The Miz (@mikethemiz) September 8, 2021
The Miz has been enormously successful as one of WWE’s most infamous heels with his arrogant, glitzy Hollywood persona (which has translated into action-movie roles in films such as the WWE-produced “Marine” series) and “Miz TV” promos. He’s won 20 overall championships with the company, including the WWE Championship, Intercontinental Title, United States Championships, and the World Tag Team Title.
— Dancing with the Stars #DWTS (@DancingABC) September 8, 2021
Fans and casual viewers might also recognize Mel C from the Spice Girls, Brian Austin Green (Beverly Hills 90210), Melora Hardin (The Office), Martin Kove (John Kreese from the “Karate Kid” films and Cobra Kai) and Olivia Jade, the daughter of Lori Loughlin and Massimo Giannulli who was involved in the notorious college admissions scandal getting into USC.
Season 30 of Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.